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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Revv vs Zoomcar- Honda city for a day-experience comparison

I have been using self-drive rentals since a decade now and keep a close eye on various developments in this industry. While I have regularly written about various self-drive agencies, their policies, pricing and vehicles, the agencies also keep changing their policies to stay competitive and keep adding new cars to their fleet. So it is a continuous learning process to stay updated. The self-drive concept has now been fully recognized and accepted, unlike a decade ago. More and more people are realizing the advantage of not owning a car and being able to rent one on need basis. That is really a good sign and ensures good prospect for the industry.
During October and November, I had the opportunity to drive around in Revv and Zoomcar Honda City. Though I have used their services before and have also written about them, there has been many changes recently in their fleet and pricing model. So it was good to try them both back to back and compare. This post offers a comparison of both services, as on Oct-Nov 2016

First a head to head comparison of Revv vs Zoomcar. I have detailed key aspects below the table
#
Activity
Revv
Zoomcar
Remarks
Before the drive
1
Website Navigation
Easy, but no pre-defined pickup locations, need to specify from map
Easy
Revv doesn’t have pickup locations and operates on delivery model which some people might prefer
2
Ease of booking
Very easy
Easy
Zoomcar home page has a video background- Few may like it but I find it distracting and waste of my data
3
Deposit
0
0
There used to be 5000 deposit earlier, seems to be waived off
4
Packages
5/10/15 km per hour + unlimited kms
5/10/15 km per hour only
Revv has recently changed their Tariff structure and launched multiple pricing plans for different kms, while retaining the unlimited kms option
5
Unlimited Kms
Yes 
No
Revv has an option for unlimited kms for bookings beyond 24hrs
6
Fleet (Bengaluru)
Grand i10, Ecosport, City, Scorpio, Sunny, Duster, Innova, XUV, Aspire, Celerio, Baleno, Amaze, Audi Q3
Figo, Swift, Amaze, City, Ecosport, Scorpio, A Class, GLA Class, Ciaz, XUV, Baleno, KUV100, Aspire, i20, Jazz
Looks like Zoom has discontinued BMW 320d
7
Rental for 24 hours, weekend, Honda City, 120/240/360 kms
2856/3240/3720

+ Rs 300 Doorstep Delivery and Pickup (Mandatory)
3360/4200/5040

+ Rs 300 Doorstep Delivery & Pickup (Optional)
8
Fuel Included?
No
Yes
Realistic economy for city is about 15-17 kmpl, 
Or ~ Rs 3.5 per km with diesel @ Rs 56 per litre 
So for Revv, add Rs 420/840/1260 for 120/240/360 kms
8
Maintenance
NA
NA
Earlier Revv had a per km maintenance charge, now discontinued
9
Total for Honda City, 360 kms
3720 + 1260 (fuel, approx) + 300 (delivery and; pickup)
= Rs 5280
Rs 5040 + 300 (delivery and pickup)
= Rs 5320
Fuel cost may vary a bit
10
Charges for excess km (Honda city)
Rs 10 per km
Rs 15 per km 
Zoomcar fuel included, Revv- fuel extra. 
Revv is cheaper by Rs 1.5 per km
11
Modification cancellation
Before 24 hrs: Rs 200
Modifications/Cancellations after 24 hrs of ST: 50%, but no cap
Late fees: Flat Rs 300 / hr
Before 24 hrs: Rs 200
Modifications/Cancellations after 24 hrs of ST: 50%, with no upper cap
Late fees: Start at Rs 500, go up to Rs 1000
Zoomcar has much stricter and more expensive charges
12
Penalties
Over speeding (above 125 kph): Rs 750 on first instance, Rs 2000 on second, withdrawal of service only on repeated over speeding
Key not returned: Rs 300 
Major Cleaning: Rs 1000
Over speeding (above 125 kph): Rs 2500 on first instance itself, if speeding above 150 kph automatic expulsion
Key not returned: Rs 200
Major Cleaning: Rs 1500
Zoomcar again has much higher penalties in many cases, most cases are same
13
Under-utilization (If driven for less than free kms in package)
Save on fuel cost
No refund of free kms in package; need to pay the entire fuel costs (included in the price) upfront
If you book for 360 km and use only say 300, savings are more in Revv
14
Over Utilization (If driven for more than free kms in package)
Pay per km + fuel extra
Fill up fuel at your own expense (will be reimbursed later) + pay excess per km
Revv is more convenient, less hassle and works out cheaper (since difference in extra kms charge more than just the fuel costs)
15
Max Liability (in case of damage/accidents)
5000
10000
Less Risk with Revv
16
App support
Good
Good
17
Pros
Works out cheaper for most options

Seems to have a newer fleet of cars
No need to worry about Fuel Economy - can run full AC or sleep in car with Engine n AC running, since only kms on the odo count.
18
Cons
I felt earlier pricing model (fixed rent, no km limit + maintenance charge) was better
Big loss if you don’t utilize all the kms 

No gains in driving economically
During the drive (Honda City, Bangalore)
1
Vehicle condition
Nice (22k on the odo)
Ok (80k kms on the odo), no wheel caps
Refer Note 2
2
Top speed
125 kmph
125 kmph
3
Accident liability
5000
Unlimited as per sticker, 10000 as per twitter reply
Refer Note 3
4
Accessories
AUX cable included in all cars
Fire Extinguisher was present
Nothing
Zoomcar used to keep charger, tablet etc earlier, now nothing
5
Fuel
Full
70%
Zoom was supposed to give full tank,  but had only 70%
6
Staff courtesy
Excellent
Good
Refer Note 4
7
Paperwork complexity
Minimum
Minimum
Post Booking
1
Ease of return
Easy
Easy
2
Fuel
Need to fill up
No need
3
Misc
Got back to back conflicting SMS
Refer Note 5
Note 1: Pricing
On this front: If you use exactly as per plan (120/240/360 kms), Zoomcar seems to have an edge. But in 99% of cases you won’t be (you’ll either be travelling less than or more than these distances) in which case Revv is the clear winner
- If you can drive economically, you save more with Revv as fuel cost will be lower. Zoomcar pricing doesn’t care how you drive.
- In most cases you will not be using the exact km- if you drive less than the plan, you save a lot on fuel with Revv.
- If you drive much more, spending on fuel + 10 Rs per km is still cheaper than Zoomcar’s 15 Rs per km
- In case of long drives, you have to fill up zoomcar on your own, submit the bills and wait for reimbursement in addition to paying excess 15 Rs per kms, spend effort on follow up etc. This is unnecessary hassle in my opinion- many social media complaints suggest delay in processing, causing extra follow up time and frustration to customers. Revv policy is simpler and less headache.

Note 2: Vehicle condition
You’ll usually get a decent car, but a bit of luck is involved as each car in the fleet can be of different age and condition. Hard to predict.

Revv is the clear winner in this case. This could be because they’re relatively newer and their cars are also newer, but on two separate occasions they’ve delivered low odo reading cars which were maintained well. Zoomcar has been around for several years now- if you book models which were around for long time- like Figo, Scorpio etc, chances are high that you will get a few year old car. You can check on their social media platforms to know if there’s any new model introduced- if so you are likely to get new car.

Note 3: Accident Liability
Earlier rental agencies used to collect Rs 5000 deposit- which formed your maximum liability in case of any damage or accident. But most agencies have scrapped this deposit- probably because it was causing lots of hesitation among customers. There was a sticker in Zoomcar City stating unlimited liability- which got me worried. However later the twitter handle of Zoomcar stated that max liability is Rs 10000. Revv has retained the maximum liability of Rs 5000
Note 4: Customer Service
Customer care team I spoke with at Revv was very courteous and the car was delivered without any problems. During initial days, connecting to Zoomcar customer service was easier. Now lots of IVR options and navigation before you can speak to a real human being.


Note 5: Misc
On the day of my return, got an SMS from Zoomcar that if I return the car full tank, I will be given Rs 500 credit + reimbursement. I wasn’t keen on it, so I ignored it. As I returned the car and left the building, I got an SMS stating there was outstanding payment on my booking- I had not violated speed limit, I had not cross km limit, so I was not sure what is this outstanding. An hour later another SMS said they are processing my refund. This was followed by one more SMS stating everything is fine (no outstanding, no refund)- Not sure why I am subjected to all these conflicting SMSs. Zoom can take its time and send a final SMS instead of multiple conflicting updates.

Conclusion: Personally I don't mind the inconvenience of filling up fuel, as long as overall cost works out cheaper. Because of this, of the two, I find Revv more preferable.
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